The Cognitive Behavioural Approach to Counselling Therapy.

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The cognitive behavioural approach to counselling therapy.
The cognitive behavioural approach to counselling therapy.
Participant observation
How do we really find out about the way of life of a group of people? One way is to join them – to participate in their daily activities & observe what they say and do. This research method is known as participant observation. It was used by John Howard Griffin (1960) a white journalist who dyed his skin black in order to discover what it was like to live as black man in the southern states of America in the late 1950’s. It was used by the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski who spent many years studying the Trobriand Islanders of New Guinea. He observed the most intimate details of
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This happened in Judith Okely’s (1983) study of traveller-gypsies. Entry was a long and difficult process until she gained the friendship and trust of a family who had recently suffered a tragic death. The sympathetic and understanding relationship she developed with members of this family provided entry to rest of the group.

Conducting research
Looking and listening Participant observation involves looking and listening. The general rule is to ‘go with the flow’ rather than forcing the pace and influencing peoples behaviour. Since the aim is to observe people in their normal setting, the research must not disturb that setting. Blending into the background is usually recommended, though this is not always possible. For example, a participant observer in a classroom can stand out like a sore thumb. This can result in an ‘artificial’ lesson. However, its surprising how soon he or she becomes invisible and taken for granted. In his study of a secondary school, Walford (1933) found that it took four weeks of observation before any class misbehaved. However, the situation changed rapidly after this time and Walford was soon watching ‘mock wrestling’ and chairs flying around the classroom!
Asking Questions Watching and listening are not always adequate for the researcher’s purposes. Sometimes a participant observer must take a more active role in order to obtain information. This usually involves asking questions. In such cases, the diving line
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